Saturday, December 11, 2010

People First Language

Nothing irritates me more when I see incorrect wording regarding individuals with disabilities! I am usually not politically correct until I read something like this:

"Under various schemes across the country, families—mostly low-income or with learning-disabled children—use vouchers to help pay for their kids to attend charter, private and nontraditional schools."
"Florida's two current voucher programs serve low-income and disabled students"

What...disabled children/students? Wrongo!! The term you are looking for is children/students WITH disabilities. That's right folks people first language (pfl) focuses on putting the person before the disability.

The whole idea behind people first language is to eliminate stereotypes that are associated with disabilities. In order to get rid of stereotypes we must first change the way we refer to people with disabilities. If we can change the way we talk then we can change the way we think.

The best way a professor explained PFL to me is...lets say someone has cancer, you would not say that this person is cancerous, but that they have cancer. Now in regards to a disability: Instead of referring to someone as "autistic" you can say "Tim has autism."

Changing our words may seem simple, but it makes such a huge difference!
A disability does not define who a person is!!

To find more information on People First Language:

1 comment :

  1. or better yet... children WITH special needs! :) I love this post!


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